Not Funny: ABC Cops Criticism Over PM Christian Comedy Skit

"You’ve got to love thy neighbour unless they vote Labor or are foreign or gay.”

An ABC comedy skit is copping flak for what Christians say is religious ridicule.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and punters on social media have weighed in and criticised the segment on Tonightly with Tom Ballard after it aired on Wednesday night.  

The television satirical show featured two comedians -- Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd and Bridie Connell -- posing as a fictional Christian band called the“The Shadow Ministers”. They said they were canvassaing what it means to be a an evangelical Christian.

The duo sang, "You’ve got to love thy neighbour unless they vote Labor or are foreign or gay” and “We love Jesus but not refugees-us".

But critics have suggested a skit of this nature, is unlikely to be done about Jewish or Islamic faiths.

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Other lines from the song included, "If Jesus was a refugee we would say f*ck off we’re full”.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, Morrison said he had not seen the clip but then took a little swipe.

"The ABC can be numpties every now and then, but my faith teaches me to love each other and to turn the other cheek,” he said.

“I’m the prime minister and I work for all Australians everyday -- I’m on their side. I’m about bringing Australians together, not about creating differences and pushing them apart.”

Former ABC comedian Dom Knight tweeted the skit wasn't an attack on Christianity, but a suggestion that Morrison's policy stances are not congruent with Christian values.

The national broadcaster is standing firm and backing the soon-to-be-axed show's depiction of Australia’s first Pentecostal Prime Minister.

"Over more than 150 episodes it has satirised a wide range of individuals, issues and institutions. It regularly takes on people in positions of authority, regardless of their race, gender, political or religious beliefs, " the ABC said in a statement.

“The Shadow Ministers” musical skit did not “attack” Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s religion or religious beliefs, and to suggest otherwise is to misconstrue the material."

"Most viewers would understand the skit to be a satirical way of examining the relationship between such beliefs and government policies on asylum seekers."

Last year, the BBC aired a comedy sketch called The Real Housewives of ISIS which sparked fierce debate and divided viewers.

The controversial piece satirised the ways young women are manipulated by ISIS online following the popular reality television format made famous by The Real Housewives of Orange County (and the many iterations that followed).

In one segment, the sketch showed Jihadi brides taking selfies and showing off suicide bomb vests.

One woman wearing a hijab says: "It's only three days until the beheading, and I've got no idea what I'm gonna wear."

The dark send-up of the Islamic State -- one of the world’s most fearsome terrorist networks -- was called inappropriate and accused of fanning Islamaphobia, but supporters said freedom of speech is the best defense against terrorism.

At the time a BBC spokeperson said, “This show is satire, and the BBC has a rich history of satire.” The broadcaster would not comment further.

Contact the author at alattouf@networkten.com.au